The California Golden Bears are one win away from being happy about life. Win Big Game, take back the Axe, earn a bowl berth, give Furd one last kick to oblivion--everything is on the line this Saturday. I expect Cal to be super motivated to try and take that Axe back, especially with a reeling Stanfurd team looking like they're one step away from being pushed off the college football cliff.
From a fan standpoint, it's awesome--it's always better going into a Big Game as an underdog, especially when the teams look particularly evenly matched. Cal will have plenty of time to play up the no respect card all week and drill that into the heads of the team before Saturday. And Cal has a long and storied history of Big Game upsets.
From a gambling standpoint, it feels too high. Stanfurd will come into this game 3-6 against the spread and has yet to cover a single game on the road. In three of their past four games, they haven't come close to covering. Vegas respects the Cardinal far more than the Cardinal seem to, and they have yet to adjust the lines. Cal, by contrast, is coming in a sterling 6-3 against the spread, including their latest backdoor cover against USC.
Everyone will want to bet on Cal with that line. I'm thinking the line will drop to 3 or 3.5 points by kickoff.
So, in summation: GO BEARS. BEAT STANFURD.